Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Danger of Drifting

HEBREWS 2:1-4 – Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  THE DANGER OF DRIFTING.  It only takes one thing to turn us into lukewarm, worldly, and spiritually indifferent Christians.  Yes, one thing will begin the sure drift into a backslidden condition.  No, it won’t be some heinous public sin. The danger of drifting into this God-dishonoring condition occurs by two words defining the process – spiritual neglect.


In today’s scripture, the writer of Hebrews gives us a strong warning to pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.  We may paraphrase his words like this, “Be more disciplined in mind and heart to the truths of God which we have heard because if we don’t, we will drift away from them.”


There is never a “taking time off” in the spiritual life.  Now don’t misinterpret that statement.  We do take time off from activities and ministry to rest our bodies and mind, but never time off in the spiritual life.  We are to live constantly aware of spiritual conflict, spiritual challenges, spiritual distractions, and most importantly, the danger of spiritual neglect. When it comes to spiritual neglect, I am referring to three disciplines.


First, the spiritual neglect of daily Bible reading.  Jesus tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). How physically healthy would we be if we missed meals, maybe for consecutive days?  Same applies spiritually.  Neglect daily time in the Word, and spiritual drifting begins.


Then, the spiritual neglect of prayer, but not just any type of prayer.  I am referring to Word-based prayer seeking communion or fellowship with God; prayer to know Him.  Neglect this, and our relationship with God gets mechanical and stale.  Welcome spiritual drifting into apathy.  We find Jesus practicing this fellowshipping prayer life – And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed (Mark 1:35).


Finally, the spiritual neglect of gathering with other believers.  This is a “big one” because we cannot maintain a fervency of first love for Christ without regularly meeting with other Christians for spiritual purposes.  The writer to Hebrews commands us – Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25). If we think we may be healthy, first love Christians and not be gathering regularly, especially on the Lord’s Day, with other Christians for spiritual growth and edification, we have already spiritually drifted away from the Lord.  We need each other.


The danger of drifting.  It is real.  Watch for the signs and then do battle against them for the spiritual health of ourselves and churches.


PRAYER: “Father, remind me often of the danger of spiritual neglect and build discipline in me to fight it.”


QUOTE: “All you have to do to become a lukewarm, worldly, spiritually indifferent Christian is nothing.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim